How to Reach Ladakh By Air

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If you watched the 3 Idiots movie, then Ladakh will be a very well-known name to you. This is a dream place for many people.

Do you remember the movie scene where Rancho was driving his scooter and coming towards his lover? Well, that scene was shot in Ladakh.

Not only that scene but the school Rancho built was also shot in Ladakh.

If you want to know how to travel to Ladakh without breaking the bank, then this guide will definitely help you get there.

If this is your 1st international flight, then you might need to check a couple of things before planning this travel plan.

When you reach the airport, the first thing you need to do is collect your boarding pass and clear your immigration.

If you don’t have any prior travel history in your passport then be prepared to face some questions from the immigration officer. Don’t panic, just answer all the questions easily. You’ll get your immigration clear in no time.

Let me give you a quick hack. While purchasing the air ticket, make sure you buy your ticket from your home to Leh. You want to have a direct flight. Many people actually purchase air tickets to Delhi first, and then from Delhi, they fly to Leh.

But this way you’ll be actually losing money. Don’t waste money like this. Be smart and travel accordingly.

Also, when you’re buying your ticket directly to Ladakh, you will actually get your boarding passes beforehand. Meaning, that in Delhi, you don’t have to waste time getting the boarding pass as you will already have it on you.

Also, while purchasing the ticket, you can do one more thing that might save you tons of money in the process. If you know your travel date, then you can buy your ticket many days earlier. This way you can also save money.

Also, Ladakh is different than other tourist destinations. In Ladakh, you need to get certain permissions from the higher officials to visit all the popular locations.

It’s better if you plan accordingly otherwise you will lose your precious vacation time running places, which doesn’t make any sense at all.

After you land in Delhi, you’ll need to fill out a form with all the necessary information regarding you.

Just take your time and fill it, no need to hurry.

While buying your air ticket, one thing you need to keep in mind is that you might have some transit at Delhi airport. So, you can either see the Delhi city or book a hotel.

If you have longer transit hours, like 15 ~ 20 hours, then it’s better to book a hotel and stay there.

Also, make sure your hotel has airport pick & drop service for you. That way you don’t have to worry about transportation. You don’t know when your flight from Delhi to Leh will be? It can be early in the morning.
Finding transportation at 4 am will be extremely difficult, that’s why managing transportation beforehand will always be a good option.

Another tip for you guys is when you land at Delhi airport, chances are you won’t have any mobile sim. But you need WIFI. What will you do in that case?

Worry not, as there are Password Vending Kiosk Machines available in the airport. You can just scan your passport and the vending machine will give you ID & password, using those you can fulfill your WIFI need. How cool is that?

When you’re staying at a hotel, make sure you choose a safe hotel but not a luxurious one. Because you’ll only stay here for a couple of hours. It doesn’t have to be the best-looking hotel. Just a simple hotel will do the work.

When you’re on the flight, you will experience the most spectacular view, don’t miss that. That view is breathtaking.

The flight won’t take much time. You’ll be in Ladakh in no time. It will only take 2 hours from Delhi to Ladakh airport.

Ladakh airport is not very big. It’s quite a small airport. If you have high expectations, then I’d advise you to lower your expectations. It doesn’t have fancy restrooms also. It does the job, but you won’t get anything fancy here.

One very IMPORTANT thing to keep in mind is that people can get acute motion sickness if they’re traveling altitude higher than 8000 ft.

Leh City is situated at an altitude of 11500 feet. So it’s very normal to feel dizzy. You might have a headache, or feel the absence of Oxygen.

You can carry a medicine called Diamox in your backpack. This will help you reduce motion sickness.

So, it’s completely normal to feel this way. You can take some precautions so that deal with these problems with ease.

Keep chocolate with you. You can also keep a small oxygen cylinder with you. These things can come in handy, you have no idea. Better be prepared.

When you leave the Leh airport you will witness a spectacular view of the mountains. You will see grey mountains on one side, and on the other side, you will see mountains covered with ice. These scenes will blow your mind.

If you arrive in Ladakh early in the morning, make sure you drop all the luggage in your hotel and take a small trip to the DC office. From the DC office, you need to get permission to see Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, and other popular destinations.

Make sure you get the permits as soon as you land in Ladakh. If you delay doing it, it will cost you your precious vacation time in the future.

While coming to Ladakh, make sure you check the weather conditions in Ladakh during that time. Because based on when you’re traveling to Ladakh, you may need to bring warm clothes or light clothes.

Normally check-in time in the hotel is 2 pm. So, keep the check-in time in mind as well.

In Ladakh, you won’t find any ceiling fan, because there’s no need for it.

While applying for the permits, you need to submit an application to the Additional Deputy Commissioner.

The subject will be, “Inner Line Permits”. In the application, you will need to give your full identification, where you’re from, why you need this permit, etc.

You also need to attach a photocopy of your Passport and Visa. The Additional Deputy Commissioner will sign the application and give you the permit. It is exactly that easy.

You may need to wait a while, before getting the “Inner Line Permits”. So, be patient, and you’ll get the permit.

Besides the DC office, you will see many happening places, like markets, mosques, etc. You can buy some necessary housekeeping stuff if you want.

While getting to the DC office you may notice some short breath. It’s because the DC office is quite high and it’s very natural to feel this way.

After getting the permit, you will see all the information there. Your name, passport number, visa number, the places you will visit during your stay in Ladakh, and also your vacation period.

Keep this permit with you all the time because it will be needed when you visit popular destinations like Pangong Lake and Nubra Valley.

When foreigners visit Ladakh, they find it very difficult to adjust at first. But after spending 1 or 2 days, you will get used to it and feel comfortable roaming around.

Try not to do any sort of activity on your first day in Ladakh. Give your body some time to relax and get accustomed to the place.

This is a high-altitude place. So, be prepared for that. For any kind of motion sickness, or dizziness feel free to share with your local guide and seek help.

After 1 day you will get used to the weather and you will start enjoying the true beauty of Ladakh. How about that?

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